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Climatic impacts and drought control of radial growth and seasonal wood formation in Pinus halepensis

AutorPasho, Edmond ; Camarero, Jesús Julio ; Vicente Serrano, Sergio M.
Fecha de publicación2012
CitaciónTrees - Structure and Function 26: 1875- 1886 (2012)
Resumen[EN] Short- and long-term growth responses to drought and climatic influences still remain poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the impact of climatic drivers (temperature, precipitation) and drought, using the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) calculated at different time scales (1-48 months), on earlywood (EW) and latewood (LW) widths in Pinus halepensis. Nine forests subjected to dry summer conditions were sampled in Mediterranean semi-arid areas from north-eastern Spain. In addition, we explored the seasonal dynamics of cambial activity and wood formation in relation to short-term climate variability. We found two peaks of tracheid cell production corresponding to EW (May-June) and LW (mid-July-August) growth phases, associated with a sharp decrease in enlarging cells in early July in response to low water availability. In the period of analysis (1970-2005), EW growth was positively correlated with precipitation in previous December and current January, April, May and June, while it was negatively correlated with temperature in June and July. LW was correlated positively with minimum temperatures in January. Probably this was an indirect relationship as a consequence of increased EW width at higher January temperatures. Drought affected more negatively EW than LW formation as evidenced the higher SPI-EW correlation (r = 0. 72) than the SPI-LW one (r = 0. 54). The strongest EW response to drought was observed in July, whereas the highest LW response to drought occurred in September; and this seasonal pattern matched the phases of lowest EW and LW tracheid production. Under a future reduction of winter and spring precipitation, the studied forests may show a decrease in tracheid cell production, causing a decline of radial growth, a reduction in hydraulic conductivity and, indirectly, a hampered carbon uptake in such semi-arid woodlands. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00468-012-0756-x
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1007/s00468-012-0756-x
issn: 0931-1890
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